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Croydon COVID-19 community mobilisation - Update 1

Dear friend,
These are unprecedented times. As you will know, schools will be closed for most children after tomorrow, and the government has encouraged everyone to work from home if possible. But I want to thank you so much for signing up to help volunteer to help the community during this time – a and showing the community spirit we will need to get through the coming months.

This is the first edition of a regular weekly update which will act as a signposting service for activity happening across the Croydon community, in support of those most affected by the disruption and social distancing measures.

I want to be clear at the outset that in line with GDPR laws, I will never pass your personal information to third parties. This database will only be used by me and will help signpost you to organisations and community groups who have requested support or are mobilising in hyper-local groups. Likewise, I will not be sharing details of individuals who need support to ensure proper safeguarding of vulnerable people. See section 5 of this email for more information on this, and how to ensure everyone stays healthy and safe while volunteering.

I am liaising closely with Croydon Council and Croydon Voluntary Action who are putting in place a borough-wide system for coordinating volunteers and will be sharing more information on this in the next email update. In the meantime, please see below for what you can do right away. And thank you again for your support at this difficult time.

All best wishes,

Sarah Jones
Member of Parliament for Croydon Central

Today’s update will include:

  1. Local community groups requesting support
  2. A list of foodbanks accepting donations
  3. Information about Croydon Covid-19 Mutual Aid Groups
  4. Writing to Croydon’s elderly
  5. Safeguarding, keeping healthy & contacting me
Community groups requesting support

The following community groups have asked me to pass on the below requests and contact details:

Organisation: Shirley Neighbourhood Care

What they are doing: 

'We need volunteers to do individual shopping for people (they need to be available on weekday mornings) and also people to help in our office in the afternoons (weekdays) for a couple of hours.

'All new volunteers must be prepared to show three pieces of ID and provide names of two referees. 

'We are being very careful with safeguarding our elderly clients and these new volunteers will be co-ordinated by one of our accredited volunteers.'

Who to contact to offer help:

Interested people should email Suzy Stoyel at or telephone 020 8662 9599 (would prefer email).

Organisation: Faiths Together in Croydon

What they are doing: 

Friday evening feeding of the homeless - alongside the Muslim Association - opposite the hospital on London Road from 7-8pm.

'If there are volunteers who could help by bringing something like shepherds pie/lasagne to feed at least 60 people it would be great.'

Who to contact to offer help:

Penny Smith-Orr, Chair, Faiths Together in Croydon -

Foodbanks accepting donations

As you will know, certain supermarket supplies are becoming hard to find – particularly basic toiletries and canned goods. If you are able to donate, please see below for contact details and drop-off locations.

Please note: due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, these opening hours are liable to change - I advise calling ahead before visiting if you are planning to drop off:

Day Food bank Time
Monday Croydon Food bank ( West Croydon) 12:00 pm- 2:00 pm
Tuesday Croydon Food bank ( West Croydon) 12:00 pm- 2:00 pm
Salvation Army 2:30pm to 4:00 pm
                  The Vine - for donations* 7:00pm to 8:00 pm (donations)
Trussell Trust Foodbank (Norwood Distribution Centre) 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Wednesday Salvation Army :
Croydon & New Addington
2:30pm to 4:00 pm
Purley food hub 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
The Vine - for referrals* 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Thursday Salvation Army 2:30pm to 4:00 pm
Friday Trussell Trust Foodbank (Norwood Distribution Centre) 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
                  The Vine - for donations* 7:00pm to 8:00 pm (donations)
Croydon Food bank ( West Croydon) 12:00 pm- 2:00 pm
Saturday Purley food hub 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
The Vine - for referrals* 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
ELIM Church 1:00 pm- 2:00 pm

*The Vine is open for donations on Tuesday and Friday evenings from 7-8pm and for food referrals on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.
Food bank Contact details
Purley food hub Purley United Reformed Church
906 Brighton Road
Croydon Food bank (West Croydon) Praise Gate Temple
46 Pilton Industrial estate
Tel: 07584281682
Tel: 0208 686 5664

Trussell Trust Foodbank (Norwood Distribution Centre)

St Luke's Church
Knights Hill
SE27 0HS
Tel: 07722121108
Salvation Army Croydon Citadel Corps
Booth Road
Tel: 02086809924
ELIM Church Mersham Road
Thonton Heath
The Vine Foodbank
This is located down the lane between 11 & 13 Salcot Crescent, New Addington
Phone:  07906 097473
Information about Croydon Covid-19 Mutual Aid groups

There are a number of hyper-local ‘Mutual Aid’ groups being formed under the banner of Croydon Covid-19 Mutual Aid. These are grassroots, volunteer-led groups and the aim is to make them very streamlined – down to ward and even street-level. They are being coordinated via Facebook and Whatsapp.

I will be providing any information I receive to these groups and liaising with them about local activity. I would encourage you to join the Croydon-wide group and your local ward/street-level group if one exists.

To join the Croydon Covid-19 group visit:

To find a local ward-level Croydon group visit:
Writing to Croydon’s elderly

I will be writing personally to all elderly people in Croydon Central in the coming days, as government guidance is finalised about social distancing measures for our most vulnerable and how long they will apply.

I will be printing thousands of letters which my team and I need to fold and stuff into envelopes. If you are able to help with this job, we can arrange for a pile of letters and (postage paid) envelopes to be delivered to you for folding and stuffing.
If you can help – please click here
Safeguarding, keeping healthy and contacting me

As I mentioned above, I will never share your data, or the data of vulnerable people, with this list or with third parties for legal and safeguarding reasons. Our first priority during this time is to keep our most vulnerable healthy and safe.

Therefore, if you or someone you live with are not feeling well please follow the guidelines below on self-isolation and do not take part in any volunteering activities. There may be an opportunity later for those self-isolating to help in some way (e.g. calling elderly people to ensure they aren’t lonely) but this will need to be worked out over the coming weeks.

Please see more details on health, safeguarding and volunteering here:
Contacting me

Despite the COVID-19 outbreak I will be continuing to work on constituent cases via email, and my office will be increasing the opening hours of its telephone line. I will, however, be closing my office to members of the public and holding my regular advice surgeries by telephone until further notice.

This is to ensure that we maximise the number of people we can help remotely and minimise the risk of spreading infection.

If you or someone you know needs to get in touch with me - please contact me at this email:
Reminder – current government guidance

The government has significantly changed its guidance this week in response to the spread of coronavirus.
NEW guidance if you or someone you live with is showing symptoms:
  • If one person in any household has a persistent cough or fever, everyone living there MUST STAY AT HOME FOR 14 DAYS.
NEW advice for schools:
  • All schools to close from the end of the day tomorrow (Friday).
  • This will be for all children except to those of key workers and where children are vulnerable.
  • Examples of key workers include NHS staff, police, and delivery drivers who need to be able to go out to work. Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with Education, Health & Care Plans.
NEW guidance for everyone, regardless of whether or not you are showing symptoms, to take part in ‘social distancing’:
  • Everyone should avoid gatherings and crowded places, such as pubs, clubs and theatres
  • Everyone should work from home if they can
  • All “unnecessary” visits to friends and relatives in care homes should cease
  • People should only use the NHS “where we really need to” – and can reduce the burden on workers by getting advice on the NHS website where possible
People who should take particular care to engage in social distancing are:
1. People over the age of 70
2. Other adults who would normally be advised to have the flu vaccine (such as those with chronic diseases)
3. Pregnant women
There will be new guidance before next weekend for those with the most serious health conditions to be “largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks.”

NEW travel guidance:
  • Avoid all but essential travel outside the UK for the next 30 days.
NOTE: This is not a comprehensive list of all government guidance and is likely to be updated, please regularly check…/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-res…
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